“Any entertainment is now a casino act. Fans want good, fast-paced entertainment that can energize them before heading to the gaming floor. Many tribal venues are now on par with the finest Vegas casinos. Ticket buyers are aware of this and are taking advantage of their “hometown” casinos so they do not have to travel a far distance for Vegas-like facilities.”
Featured in the August 2023 issue of Pollstar Magazine, our own Steve Selak joined in the question and answer segment regarding the State Of The Casino Market, by Oscar Areliz.
“The concept of experiencing live entertainment while in a gambling business has been around since the days of the wild west with saloons delivering musical talent in the form of piano players, singers and dancers to their guests. Such practices have come a long way since the 19th century, evolving from ragtime at the local watering hole to watching A-list talent performing at the biggest casinos and resorts in the world.
Post-World War II was arguably the golden era for casinos with audiences seeking entertainment from jazz bands and orchestras playing what is now referred to as “casino music,” a musical movement that was sparked and elevated by legendary acts such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley who often performed in Las Vegas with residencies.
Nearly seven decades later, the casino business isn’t only alive and strong, it’s booming with A-list talent taking a page from the Rat Pack and making the trek to casino venues, regardless of location, and elevating the industry to new heights. Pollstar rounded up some of the casino’s top executives and music agents to get their thoughts on the current state of the casino business, live entertainment and how the “casino act” has evolved over the years.”
Q&A with Steve Selak – President & Agent, Selak Entertainment, Inc.
How do you view the overall state of entertainment at casino venues? What is driving the momentum and is it a new phenomenon?
It’s outstanding. Tribal gaming is embracing new genres and types of entertainment. Ten years ago, most would not consider family-friendly holiday entertainment but today they are. Tribal gaming is thriving, and their customers are requesting new programming.
How has the business changed in recent years? As the casino business recovered from the pandemic, what role did live entertainment have in that recovery – and did the pandemic help you rethink your approach to business?
Younger customers are opening new entertainment avenues. Yes, casinos have recovered from the pandemic, and entertainment always plays a role. Many artists were unwilling to travel and perform even after the pandemic ended so nontraditional artists such as hypnotists and mediums filled that void.
Has the definition of a “casino act” changed in recent years? What do artists and fans want to see at casino venues, and how are the casino owners and developers adapting?
Any entertainment is now a casino act. Fans want good, fast-paced entertainment that can energize them before heading to the gaming floor. Many tribal venues are now on par with the finest Vegas casinos. Ticket buyers are aware of this and are taking advantage of their “hometown” casinos so they do not have to travel a far distance for Vegas-like facilities.
Any predictions for the future of the casino entertainment business? What would you like to see?
Tribal gaming’s trajectory is only up! New construction and ideas are shaping much of what is happening today and tribal gaming is part of that overall scene. I’d like to see continued government/tribal cooperation allowing more flexibility for additional growth within the gaming industry.
Working with Selak Entertainment means that you have a team standing beside you until your project is completed and your audiences are pleased. As a part of a large team of professionals within the entertainment community, earning the trust of our customers and associates is what we strive for in everything we do. Our long list of Musicians, Solo Artists, Bands, Entertainers, and Performers means that you have a multitude of choices. We also offer Professional Entertainment Consultation to assist you from idea inception to project completion.